(SAVANNAH, Mo.) The Savannah School District will try once again to pass not one, but two levies to make improvements within the school district on the August 3rd Special Election ballot.
Savannah R-III is proposing a $0.15 tax levy on building maintenance throughout the district and a $0.10 tax for teacher salaries. Its tax is based per $100 of assessed valuation increase. Both are sunset through 2030.
"If our goal is to provide a safe and quality education for our students, the maintenance levy deals with a lot of our safety issues in terms of a safe classroom and healthy classroom," said School Board President Joseph Barbosa.
Focusing on new HVAC systems and roof repairs, the school board has a 10-year $4.4 million plan in place to make repairs throughout the district building by building.
"We've already approved some funds to get Amazonia Elementary started first; that's one of the bigger needs," said Barbosa. "But the high school gym, off the top of my head, is one of the ones that needs major renovations as well as the HVAC system at Minne Cline--our largest elementary school in Savannah, needs major improvements."
When it comes to the second tax for teacher salaries, this isn't the first time voters have been presented with the issue.
"I'm very passionate about this one," said the School Board President.
Failing in previous years, Barbosa said what is happening at the national level is trickling down right here in Northwest Missouri, and he and the board want to get a grip on it.
"For the education piece, we have got to recruit and maintain the best teachers we can find. We also have to realize that our competition in the Savannah School District is not just Maryville, it's not just St. Joe, it's the Northern Kansas City Suburbs," Barbosa added. "Those school districts are offering higher salaries and more opportunities for advancement. And we have to be able to say we are going to be here to provide the best education for our families, for our students, and we think this is an opportunity to do that."
At the end of the day, the board wants to focus on the community and better the education within Savannah schools.
"By bringing these two issues to our voters, it's saying that 'I want what's best for my children, and I want what's best for their children as well,'" Barbosa stated.